Community Youth Services (CYS), which has been operating an overnight shelter for young people in Tacoma for the past two years, announced that they recently hired Talcott Broadhead as the executive director of Pierce County programs, who in the last month has relocated their drop-in services to The Wellness Center Building. Broadhead replaces former Executive Director of Pierce County Programs Kurt Miller.
Broadhead holds a Master’s degree in social work from University of Washington and has a Bachelor’s degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a dual major in intercultural studies and linguistics. Broadhead brings 15 years of experience providing advocacy, counseling, training, and education to a variety of clientele and audiences.
Broadhead oversees four programs in Pierce County, including the Drop-In Center, Street Outreach, Young Adult Shelter and New Directions Crisis Residential Center. These programs are funded by government grants, contracts, private foundations and local donations. CYS also recently hired Tiffany Burns as program director for the Young Adult Shelter/Drop-In programs.
“Tiffany comes to us with a strong background in social services, supervision, and community building,” said Broadhead, who was working as both the executive director and program director and will now be able to focus as the executive director.
The previous location for the drop-in center had some challenges with the space not being large enough and was a long walk for the participants to access case management and basic needs. Often a young person would be a guest at the overnight shelter and in order to receive case management, they would have to walk over a mile to get to the drop-in center. The new location offers a larger space for more services including, a full kitchen, large recreation room, a donation closet and several other rooms for quiet spaces to provide case management. Due to the layout, the staff have full “line of sight” of all the participants. Staff also has office space, which they didn’t have before.
With the new location of the Drop-In Center, the young people only have to walk 1 ½ blocks over to the Young Adult Shelter. “Having both programs very close is a great benefit to our guests who utilize both services. Our staff are better situated to check in about participants and deliver any supplies needed. Participants benefit from the wraparound support and we benefit from the capacity to deter youth from "splitting" between staff,” said Broadhead. “In addition, there are other services nearby. The awesome support we receive from our close neighbors at REACH and Comprehensive Life Services (CLR) is incredible. We really relish in this opportunity to bring revitalized and enhanced services to our participants and this space promotes that.”
Broadhead said (of the new space), “The kitchen is an incredible resource and we look forward to exploring independent living skills classes that focus on healthy and nourishing food preparation. We are close to community partners, courts, transportation, parks and our shelter.”
The Drop-In Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 1-8:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. The program serves young people 12-24.
“In our Drop-In Center we offer case management, advocacy, basic needs support: hygiene and clothing supplies and a warm meal,” said Broadhead. In addition, participants can also address education, mental health substance abuse, housing, family reunification (if safe and appropriate), employment and training. At the drop-in, we not only offer case management, advocacy, basic needs support, but we also pleat board games, create art, and provide psychoeducational support groups and workshops. We have video games and we like to host movie nights.
We are a safe place for youth to connect with a caring service provider or just chill and have a snack. Through trust building and compassion we seek to empower every participant to identify their needs and determine how we can best support them in meeting those goals. At each guest's unique pace, we will work to create the conditions that lead to a successful and empowered launch to achieving the goals they've identified.
”We are very honored to have certified mental health professionals from CLR co-located at this site daily. These professionals can conduct intakes to programming and provide therapeutic support to our participants on site,” Broadhead added. “We are very interested in exploring more collaborations like this one and would be happy to hear from the wonderful provider community about how together, we can best serve the vulnerable youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.”
The Young Adult Shelter is located at the Beacon Center: 415 S. 13th St., Tacoma, serving young people ages 18-24. To be eligible for service an individual must provide proof of their age. We cannot serve Level 2 or Level 3 sex offenders. We can serve Level 1 sex offenders who are in compliance. Each individual who utilizes our shelter services is informed of our program expectations and must sign an agreement to adhere to these norms. We are a gender-liberated shelter space. Our shelter is staffed at a ratio of 1:13, with a minimum of two trained staff present at all times, and a 40 bed capacity.
Street Outreach, which is conducted five days a week throughout Pierce County, is often the first step to getting a young person the help they need to end homelessness. The staff offers water, hygiene supplies, snacks, service information and cold weather gear (socks, gloves, hats). Doing so draws young people into services and off the streets. Many introductions on the streets lead to overnight stays in the shelter or daytime services at the drop-in center.
New Directions is a crisis residential center for youth ages 12-17. It’s a short term placement that operates every level of the program from a Trauma-informed lens. Youth are cared for with compassion while their basic needs: food, clothing, shelter and education are met. Our onsite case manager works to develop a solution based housing placement for each youth in our care.
This may look like Family Reconciliation, foster care placement, placement with a relative, discharge to an institution that can treat their mental health or substance use disorders, and more. We pride ourselves on being a culturally competent space that provides youth in our care with social and emotional support suited to each individual's need. Youth can be referred to our services by a social worker, school, JR, therapist, law enforcement, other caring adult, or by self-referral. To refer a minor or to consult a case with our trained staff, you can call our 24 hour line at (253) 212-3432.
CYS has 22 staff members in Tacoma/Pierce County in addition to the Executive Director. There is also a Development Associate who works on grants, in-kind donations, donor cultivation and community relations.
The Wellness Center will have an open house with a date TBD."